Farmlands surround us, and across the street are horses in a pasture. My school is a hive of activity in a peaceful, rural setting. There are two predominant cultures here: Amish and English. Students from all backgrounds learn side by side. That is the makeup of our school. It is the most unique and interesting learning community I have ever been privileged to be a part of.
Despite their differences and backgrounds, my students all tend to have one thing in common: they absolutely love school and learning.
I feel it is my privilege to help them do just that. My students are first graders. This school year I have 16 little people in my class. Many of these students are low-income and struggle with basic needs. If there is anything I can do to ease those hardships, I can and will!
First grade is all about learning to read, and my goal is to give these young readers access to reading in all forms. In my classroom, I do purposeful read-alouds, I have leveled and unleveled books which they read themselves, I have big books, literacy games and a bountiful classroom library, and finally, I used to have a listening center. After much love and use from years past, my former listening center played its last story, and the time has come for a new machine and set up. In my classroom, we utilize the listening center almost every day. Students can use the listening center during independent workstations, during free time, and occasionally during indoor recess.
My students come to me with many needs.
The majority have just begun to learn English as a second language, and many have little or no access to books outside of school. Being able to provide them with an up to date audio library would be so wonderful! Their little faces light up with delight every time they sit down to the listening center and hear all of their favorite stories as they follow along in the books. I am certain that a listening center will help instill in them a love for reading!
The listening center materials I am requesting include a multimedia player that will allow me to use cassette tapes, compact discs, and also has bluetooth capabilities - which will greatly expand our reading library. In addition, this player has a set of six headphones, which are necessary in order to use this with more than one student at a time. I am also requesting a storage cart to allow our listening center to become more mobile and accessible in the classroom, which is already a very crowded place!
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